Google Streetview : Beijing and Tehran want the Groningen killer app

Dutch twins stole a 14-year-old boy's mobile phone and 165 euros in cash last September in Groningen. The victim recognized himself and his assailants on a Google Streetview* taken seconds before the crime, which led to their arrest.

A Minority Report - style Precog / postcog crime unit ? Not yet, but a not so positive piece of news for this already controversial service (images taken and broadcasted without propper authorisations).

Lately, such social networking services as Facebook or Twitter have been censored in Iran following
rigged presidential elections.

Tehran remains in damage control, but
as we recently saw, Beijing is already one step ahead in the control of web usages. And Google already contributed to arrestations there... but not the kind to be proud of.

Chinese authorities don't need Google Streetview : the police already monitor unrests by systematically and openly filming people who dare demonstrate any kind of defiance to the regime.

But would be certainly interested in digging any large image database exposing "unhealthy" activities at home or abroad.

But mining can be dangerous, even in China, and particularily in China : when you go too far, things tend to collapse on you.

* "
Dutch muggers caught on Google street view camera" (Reuters 20090619)

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